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Apr
23
Rick Boersma

Need to come up with a breakthrough idea for your organization?

Don’t go it alone. Be collaborative.

Why? Because flying solo can limit the number, range and originality of ideas generated, as opposed to working in a group.

In other words, you’re not doing yourself any favours by brainstorming alone.

2 (or more) heads are better than 1

According to the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, not all people are created equal when it comes to innovation.

We as humans are diverse: not only in appearance, age, gender and the like, but in the way we think. And the way we think drives how we communicate, make decisions, solve problems...and innovate.

Moreover, people generally find it difficult to “think outside the box.”  That’s because they’ve spent a lifetime operating, getting comfortable and being effective in their own box.

So imagine if you bring a bunch of different thinkers together—and everyone is asked to think outside of their box.

Each person’s idea has the potential to “springboard” someone else’s thinking.

Suddenly, you’ve got a huge number and range of original ideas.

And one of those ideas could lead to the promise of a breakthrough innovation.

That is the power of collaboration.

Build your dream innovation team!

Building a “dream team” is one way to help people think outside of their boxes.

To be successful, the team should have a diverse profile, but members must also share key character traits: 

  1. A diversity of styles 
    Include people who are logical thinkers, others who think creatively; and people who are process-oriented as well as people-oriented.
  2. Varied levels of experience
    Of course, you want people who are experts in their field. But don’t forget the rookies—less experienced, oftentimes younger folks can bring a fresh perspective to the innovation process.
  3. Shared character traits
    You want your team to feel comfortable with each other. So, ensure each team member has similar character traits including trustworthiness as well as an ability to trust, open-mindedness, and passion for the task at hand.

There is collective strength in collaboration. By working in a team, you can create “group genius.”

Stay tuned for my next post, when I’ll share how you can reduce friction on your dream team.

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